Ayn Rand gets a lot of press these days, but her philosophy, Objectivism, is still wildly, ridiculously misunderstood. Typically this is because many people who COMMENT on it don’t actually think they need to READ it. But it also is because there are vile people in the world who would like others to think Objectivism is something that it isn’t, in order to prevent it from spreading in the culture. These vile people would prefer a world of ignorance, slavery, and large-soda bans.
Perhaps even more misunderstood, then, are the strange and wonderful creatures who call themselves Objectivists. (Yes, I just called myself a strange and wonderful creature.) Just because we are the intellectual superheroes of the world (too much?) doesn’t mean we wouldn’t like to be better understood, and even appreciated. Even Superman needed to be appreciated. And if Superman were real, it would prove my point.
Objectivists are, to put it simply, people who have studied Ayn Rand and her philosophy, Objectivism, to such a degree that they understand its essentials, have decided the philosophy is true, have attempted to live by it, AND have erected an alter in Rand’s name with 7 candles representing each of the 7 virtues. (That last one is actually voluntary.)
Objectivism is a closed and complete system of thought, so agreement is actually possible. It’s the same as a person saying, I’ve read and agree with the philosophy of Aristotle, except that it’s Ayn Rand we agree with. What it means to be an Objectivist is that you philosophically understand and accept that reason is your only means of knowledge, and you resolve to honestly use reason and logic to the best of your ability in and for your life. That’s pretty much it. Done. Normal, yet exceptional. But that is not what most people think about us. Here are the top 5 most common misconceptions about Objectivists.